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Legal Victory for Govt as Supreme Court Declines to Interfere in PNB Scam Probe

The court also refused to order a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into the circumstances in which billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi fled the country after the massive scam came to light.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:December 28, 2018, 10:40 PM IST
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Legal Victory for Govt as Supreme Court Declines to Interfere in PNB Scam Probe
File photo of Punjab National Bank (File photo: Reuters)
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New Delhi: The central government has secured a legal victory with the Supreme Court declining to interfere with or monitor the investigation into the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case.

The court also refused to order a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into the circumstances in which billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi fled the country after the massive scam came to light.

A bench headed by Justice Sanjay K Kaul dismissed the PIL filed by advocate Vineet Dhanda. This was the first time the PIL came before Justice Kaul while it was earlier listed for hearing before other benches on six different dates since February.

“We are not inclined to entertain this petition filed under Section 32 of the Constitution of India. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed,” directed the bench, also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta, in a recent order.

Attorney General KK Venugopal appeared for the government and raised strong objections against the maintainability of the petition. Venugopal argued there is no need for the court to intervene since the investigations are already underway in the matter.

The AG added that there cannot be any justification for the Supreme Court or any other court to interfere unless something amiss or wrong can be shown. Venugopal also resisted monitoring of the investigation by the top court, submitting there must be cogent reasons to do so.

On behalf of the petitioner, advocate JP Dhanda maintained that the issue was serious and that the government should at least apprise the bench of the progress made in the investigation.

But the bench remained unimpressed with Dhanda’s plea and observed that no order can be passed only on the basis of certain impressions or apprehensions which are not corroborated by the petitioner.

The court then junked the PIL, declining to issue notices to the ministries of Finance and Law and Justice, PNB and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Dhanda, in his PIL, had sought direction to the Centre to ensure PNB scam accused Nirav Modi is brought back to India within two months, apart from the issuance of fresh guidelines on grant of big loans.

Juxtaposing poor farmers' inability to repay agricultural loans with the recent Rs 11,300 crore PNB fraud, the PIL called for intervention of the Supreme Court to protect the people's rights.



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